Open House Launches Bialystoker Synagogue’s Educational Program for Public School Students

From: The Bialystoker Synagogue
Published: Fri Aug 26 2005

The Bialystoker Synagogue is launching its expanded Jewish educational program with a open house program on September 6, 2005 at 5:30 p.m. Entitled "The Seven Highly Effective Habits of Great Jewish Kids," the interactive, fun-filled family program features the dynamic Rabbi Leibel Karmel, Director of the ToTal Network of Hebrew Schools. The open house, to be held at the East River Community Room, 477 FDR Drive, will feature free pizza, make-your-own sundaes, and the opportunity to chat with teachers and learn about the curriculum.

Beginning in September 2005, the Downtown School for Judaism will open its doors to all public school children between the ages of 5 and 13. Working in age-appropriate groups, under the guidance of experienced teachers, the children will pursue a nationally implemented curriculum of Hebrew, Bible and Jewish history and culture. Exciting field trips round out a program that is both educational and fun.

"Two years ago, we perceived an unaddressed need in our community," said Rabbi Zvi Romm, spiritual leader of The Bialystoker Synagogue. "At one time, the Lower East Side was home to numerous supplementary Jewish schools, providing a solid Jewish education to children enrolled full-time in public schools. In 2004, there were none at all, forcing parents who desired a supplementary Jewish education to look outside the neighborhood, or worse, to abandon it altogether."

In response to this need, the congregation launched The Downtown School for Judaism as a pilot project aimed at kindergartners. "The results surpassed even our own greatest expectations," said Romm. "After a year, the children have soaked up a ton of information about the Jewish tradition. Perhaps even more significantly, they love it. More than one parent has told me that their children look forward to Sunday school even more than regular school."

Encouraged by this success, the congregation has expanded the program significantly for the 2005-06 academic year.

The school has affiliated with the ToTal ( network, a national coalition of Sunday Schools, which provides professional curricula, teaching materials, and educational trips. It has also hired Naomi Sandel, an experienced Jewish and public school educator, as its principal.
Classes meet for two hours on Sunday mornings. Enrollment will guarantee a family two High Holiday seats in The Bialystoker Synagogue for free.

For further information, call the synagogue office at 212-475-0165 between 9:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. Mondays through Thursdays, email the synagogue at or check
Company: The Bialystoker Synagogue
Contact Name: Rabbi Zvi Romm
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 212-475-0165

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